AceShowbiz - Disgraced music mogul Phil Spector has died following complications from COVID-19.
The "Wall of Sound" producer, who was serving a 19-year prison sentence for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, was diagnosed with the coronavirus a month ago, and was treated in a California hospital before he was deemed well enough to return to his cell.
However, he recently experienced breathing troubles and was re-admitted to the medical centre, where he died on Saturday (16Jan21), reports TMZ. He was 81.
The New York native began his career as a teen with his band the Teddy Bears, scoring his first big hit with "To Know Him Is to Love Him" in 1958. He went on to become the youngest-ever label owner in the U.S. in 1960, when he co-founded Philles Records at the age of 21, and continued to write and produce songs for the likes of the Ronettes, Ike & Tina Turner, and The Crystals.
Spector briefly stepped away from the industry in 1966, but made his comeback just three years later, working with The Beatles on their 1970 album "Let It Be". He also produced solo tracks for the Fab Four's John Lennon and George Harrison, notably Lennon's "Imagine", and later collaborated with Leonard Cohen, the Ramones, and Dion DiMucci.
Among his most famous hits include the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' ", "Unchained Melody", and "You're My Soul and Inspiration", as well as "The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles, The Ronettes' "Be My Baby", "He's a Rebel" by The Crystals, and Ike & Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High".
Spector retreated from the spotlight again in the 1980s, but hit headlines in 2003 after the fatal shooting of Clarkson at his Alhambra, California home.
He was convicted of second degree murder and jailed in 2009.
Prior to his downfall, Spector was revered in the music industry, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1997.
He was married three times - first to the Spectors Three singer Annette Merar in 1963, and then to Ronnie Spector, the frontwoman of the Ronettes. They wed in 1968 and adopted three children together.
Spector also fathered twins with his one-time girlfriend, Janis Zavala, although their son, Phillip Spector, Jr. died from leukaemia in 1991.
The producer wed for a third time while awaiting trial in 2006, tying the knot with Rachelle Short. They separated in 2016 and finalised their divorce in 2018.